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Strasbourg is the capital of the Alsace region of France and is most widely known for hosting a number of important European institutions. It is also famous for its beautiful historical centre - the Grande Île - which was the first city centre to be classified entirely as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
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Points of Interest in Strasbourg
Strasbourg is a popular tourist destination primarily thanks to the beautifully preserved and pedestrian friendly city centre, which can be explored on foot or bicycle in a few days. Don't forget that Strasbourg's appeal now brings tourists to the city throughout the year, with large tour groups especially frequent during the summer months and during the annual winter market. Staying for a few days will allow you to see the city when it's calmest, first thing in the morning and during the evening.
The main Tourist Office is located on Place de la Cathédrale, with a smaller office in the concourse level of the railway station. Both are open 09h00 to 19h00.
The tourist office sells a variety of self-guided walking tours through the town (Middle Ages, Renaissance, Modern and Contemporary) for €1 each, and also arranges bike tours through the Faubourgs (the suburbs of Neudorf and Neuhof). Maps, brochures and last minute accommodation are also available.
Water-bus tours are available near the Palais des Rohans (south of the cathedral). Those tours (about 45 min.) run around the town center and the European district.
- Cathédrale Notre Dame. Built between 1176 and 1439 and with a 142 metre tower (the highest cathedral tower in France), the Gothic cathedral is undoubtedly Strasbourg's finest architectural highlight.
- Just near-by on place du Château is the Musée de l'Oeuvre Notre Dame - Medieval and Renaissance Art  – a splendid museum of medieval religious art related to the cathedral.
- Astrometric Clock in the cathedral
- Maison Kammerzell (The Kammerzell house), (XVth century) (to the left of the front of the cathedral) – The intricately carved half-timbered frames decorating the upper floors date from 1589.
- Palais des Rohan. French-style palace, built after the acquisition of the town by the French (1681). Home to the Museum of Fine Arts, the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts.
- Musée Alsacien (Alsatian Museum), 23-25, Quai Saint-Nicolas (just across the river from the Ancienne Douane), ☎ +33 3 88 52 50 01. Mon, Wed - Fri 12am - 6pm, Sat and Sun 10am to 6pm. This museum features articles from the daily lives of Alsatian peoples from the 13th to 19th centuries: clothing, furniture, toys, tools of artisans and farmers, and religious objects used in Christian, Jewish, and even pagan rites. The exhibits are in rooms connected by wooden staircases and balconies in adjacent multistory Renaissance-era houses around a central courtyard. Admission €6.
Petite France is the name given to the small area between the rivers, just south of the Grande Île. It is home to some of Strasbourg's prettiest and most photogenic streets and buildings, with half timbered townhouses leaning out over the narrow cobbled streets. Petite France resembles Colmar (a city an hour south), with picturesque canal and half-timber houses.
Elsewhere in Strasbourg
- Orangerie - a beautiful classical park. It has a small free zoo featuring birds and a few other animals. Also has an excellent playground for young children.
- Stockfeld, garden city built in the early XXth century in the south-east of the Neuhof (southern part of the town) (bus line 24)
- European district (bus lines 6, 30, 72) :
- Council of Europe's seat (Le Palais de l'Europe) (1977), built by Henry Bernard
- European Court of Human Rights (1995), built by Richard Rogers
- European Parliament (1999), built by Architecture Studio
- ARTE Television  headquarters. 4, quai du Chanoine Winterer, near the European district.
- B-line tramway terminus at Hoenheim (northern conurbation) (2001), built by the contemporary architect Zaha Hadid.
- Place de la République - A central crossroad encircled by neoclassical public buildings
- Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art - recommended also because of the interesting building
- Historical Museum - museum of Strasbourg's history
- Zoological Museum
Strasbourg is one of the nine largest cities in France with nearly half a million inhabitants in a metropolitan area spanning across the river into the German city of Kehl, on the eastern bank of the Rhine.
The city itself is the seat of the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Ombudsman, the Eurocorps, the European Audiovisual Observatory and, most famously, the European Parliament , which also holds sessions in Brussels.
Christmas markets can be found in many places, but the most important and beautiful are place Broglie and place de la Cathédrale, although they are crowded. They are the best places to drink hot wine (vin chaud) and to eat Christmas cookies (Brädeles).
Even when there are no special events on in Strasbourg, walking around the old town is a very nice way to pass a day. And there are lots of good cafes to stop and rest in as you make your tour.
Alsatian specialties are numerous and can be eaten in many traditional restaurants, in the city or in the neighborhood. Particularly you shouldn't visit Alsace without having the sauerkraut (choucroute in French). Choucroute seems to have a standard price throughout Alsace of 14 Euros. Don't be too dismayed by this seemingly high price as what is brought to you is heaping plate of Sauerkraut (big enough for 2 people) as well as sausages and other meats. This is usually translated as "garnished sauerkraut" on English menus, when in doubt ask your server. Other specialties include the Alsatian pork-butcher's meat, Flammeküche or flams (tartes flambées in French) which is a sort of wafer thin pizza made with onion-cream sauce, Baeckeoffe, beef and pork stew cooked, with potatoes and carrots, usually served for two or more persons and Fleischnackas, mixed beef meat presented like spirals and served with salads.
- A l'ancienne douane ('To the old customs house') on rue de la Douane, near the cathedral, next to the Ill river. A big restaurant for tourist groups. You are almost sure to find a place here even if you have no reservation. Mid-range prices. 
- Au petit bois vert, 1, Quai de la Bruche, in the Petite France district, serves well-prepared flams and Alsatian specialties in a small room with smiling waiters. The chef usually comes by at the end of the evening. Great terrace during the summer under a big tree on the bank of the river. No reservation, mid-range prices.
- Kirn (le restaurant), 17-19, rue du 22 novembre (at the intersection of Fossé des Tanneurs west of Place Kleber), ☎ +33 3 88 321610, fax: +33 03 88 320865, e-mail: email@example.com. The restaurant is above a fine Alsatian specialty food shop on the ground floor.
- Au Dauphin, 13, place de la Cathédrale (on the corner of cathedral square next to Hotel de la Cathédrale; look for a red awning and walk through the inner courtyard to get to it), ☎ +33 388 21 01 46, fax: +33 0388 21 03 87, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Try the choucroute aux trois poissons; it is very fresh and a wonderful take on the traditional sauerkraut dish. They also serve the traditional choucroute garnie, with up to seven types of meat, including headcheese. 
- Le Sanglier ('The boar'), on rue du Sanglier in the Carré d'Or district, near the cathedral. A small restaurant with a traditional setting. If you want a Baeckoffe, you must inform the restaurant 24h before. Mid-range prices.
- Winstub La Vigne, 14, rue de Sébastopol (across the street from the Mc Donald's at Les Halles shopping center), ☎ +33 3 88 220109. This charming and friendly winstub has more moderate prices than its counterparts in La Petite France or near the cathedral, with choucroute garnie and baeckoffe under €15 and bottles of Alsatian wine for about €20. 
- Kim Youn (Fooding Coréen), 5, rue Gustave Doré (toward western end of Grand Ile between rue de Jeu des Enfants and rue du 27 novembre), ☎ +33 3 88 321554. Mon-Sat 12h-14h30, 19h-22h. €7-9.50.
- Mooze, on rue de la Demi-lune near Place Kleber: sushi restaurant. Sushi moves on a conveyor belt in front of you.
- Tiger wok on rue du Faisan. Asian food. They cook your dish in front of you.
- Une Fleur des Champs Organic and vegetarian food and beverage, a delicious and varied menu concocted daily from fresh produce and meat sellers in the area. They also offer bulk goods and produce for sale. Prices are modest and portions are large in a quiet, family style atmosphere.
- Au Brasseur, 22, rue des Veaux. This a restaurant and microbrewery. Try one of their beers and a tarte flambé for about €10. Has a small children's menu.
- Al Boustane on rue de la Krutenau. This Lebanese restaurant features sandwiches and kebabs.
- Flams. On rue des Frères near the Cathédrale. Serves a great variety of flams (tartes flambés) and has an amazing winelist for a budget joint.
- L'Epicerie, 6, rue du Vieux Seigle, off the rue des Francs Bourgeois. Features sandwiches "tartines" (about €4). Food from noon to night. Tables on street and inside.
- Le Frangin two doors down from Flam's on Rue des Frères serves a wide range of home-cooked pasta and pizzas at reasonable prices. Pizza and pasta main courses range from €8-9, meat dishes €14-15 and an Alsatian beer €2.50. The owner is friendly and the food is good, satisfying Italian cooking.
- La Gallia, on quai du Maire Dietrich near the Gallia tramway station (C-line). The oldest university restaurant in France, in a 19th-century building, built by the Germans (which explains the ceiling decorations). It is the last French university restaurant that is managed by students. Not a culinary triumph, but very affordable.
- Saladin City, 41, Grand'Rue. Tunisian/Algerian couscous and kebabs. No alcohol. €6-7.
- Zorba on rue de Zurich. This little Greek restaurant in the Krutenau area features sandwiches, souvlaki, and kebabs.
- Snack au Soleil on rue de General Zimmer. ONe of the best pizza and kebab in the town. Affordable prices for students.
- Chez Tante Lisele on the Grand'Rue. Very friendly.
- Chez Yvonne, in the Carré d'Or district, near the cathedral. Usually frequented by Jacques Chirac, when he comes to Strasbourg, because of its well-known tête de veau (cooked veal head). More expensive.
- La Boucherie, 4, Rue du Vieux Marché aux Vins. This chain restaurant is kid-friendly, with a small children's menu, highchairs, and a toy and colouring book for young children, and will satisfy a craving for red meat at a reasonable price.
- La Stub, 4, rue du Saumon, just one block from the Vox cinema on rue des Francs Bourgeois in the center of Grand Ile. This local Alsatian favorite features Fischer brews for €2-3 and tartes flambés for €7-8.
- Restaurant Avanos, 20 Grand'Rue, ☎ +33 3 88 226257. Spécialités orientales: couscous, döner, grilled meats, fish. 3 plats du jour choices every lunchtime. 10% off takeaway meals every evening. €10-12.
- Beer : Alsace is the first beer-producing region of France and Strasbourg has many breweries. Best known are Kronenbourg and Fischer, whose factories can be visited for free, with free drinks at the end of the tour.
- Alsatian white wine : usually drunk with Alsatian food, but also with fish. The main varieties are Gewürtztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris. They have a particularly floral flavour and are well worth investigating.
- Place du Marché Gayot. Located on Rue des Frères. Close to the cathedral.
- Les Frères Berthom. Beer bar located on the Rue de Tonneliers in the proximity of la place Gutenburg. Spacious with an agreeable atmosphere.
- Le Zanzibar, 1 pl. St-Etienne. You can enjoy a beer here either inside or on the terrace. Open until 4 in the morning.
- Le Café Bar Odyssée, 3 rue des Francs Bourgeois. Bar with an intimate interior. Great place to enjoy a game of backgammon.
From time to time, the city organizes a general market in vast parts of the center, where many street vendors offer various products and the shops join in with special discounts. Then, the city center on the island is partly closed for parking or driving and the trams don't go on the rue des Francs Bourgeois. The 29th July 2006 and the 24th July 2010 (both on Saturday) were such a day, information about regular market dates is hard to find on the net. If you manage to track down the date of this market, write it here and don't miss it.
There is a marché aux Puces (flea market) on rue de Vieil-Hôpital on Wednesday and Saturdays. The Place des Halles, 24, place des Halles, is a shopping center with over 100 shops and restaurants north of the city center, but within walking distance. Open Mon-Fri 09:00 to 20:00, and Saturdays until 20:00.
A new shopping centre, Rivetoile, opened at the end of 2008 at Place d'etoile, in between the Etoile Polygone and Etoile Bourse tram stops. This new development has shops similar to Place des Halles as well as higher budget shops and a selection of cafes.
Try Galeries Lafayettes at rue du 22 Novembre and Printemps at 1-5 rue de la Haute Montée. Rue Hellebardes and Gutenberg offer designer clothes and men's clothes. Bruno Saint Hilaire has designer clothes for men and a shop in 8, rue Gutenberg. There is a low-budget, secondhand clothing shop in 6, rue de la Lanterne, and various gadget shops can be found in rue des Juifs.
For cheap groceries, including local wines and beers, try one of the three outlets of NORMA, a German discount chain whose three outlets are conveniently located at the corner of rue St Michel and rue Ste Marguerite near the central train station; at 79, Grand'Rue near the center of Grand Île; and at 27, rue des Frères near the Cathedral. Open Mon-Fri 10 am to 8 pm, Sat 9:30 am to 7 pm.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Strasbourg on Wikivoyage.